Thursday, January 12, 2023 Amie Walker


Today's SETTER (see also 33D) is Amie Walker who, by my count has been by the Corner at least 7 times (on her way to and from other places around the crucisverbisphere).  She was here last on December 5, 2022, blogged by sumdaze, who stepped in and took up the torch, admirably filling some big shoes, to lead us onward at the beginning of each week.

Today Amie brings us an important PSA regarding traffic safety so we'll immediately start with the reveal:

59A. Legal turn at some intersections, and a turn in each set of circles in this puzzle: RIGHT ON REDHere's some good advice if your state permits this (everywhere except New York City apparently).

It's also permitted to turn right in this puzzle wherever there are traffic circles indicating that it is safe to do so.  As we all know, traffic circles can be very confusing (especially if you're driving in England!) and ... uh ... perhaps this is best illustrated with the full grid, as the theme is spread out over multiple clues (and no peeps out of you know who):

If we begin at NW in each set of circles and turn RIGHT, we see 6 RED things (Across and Down):


As I'm sure all Cornerites are familiar with these things, I'll spare you any further illumination of them and turn our attention to the rest of the clues:


1. Easily vandalized site: WIKI.  The term Wiki originates from the Hawaiian word for "fast".  One the reasons they are fast is that they are not centrally curated and pages are effectively read/write by anybody in the world.  As it turns out, not only can they be vandalized, but articles about controversial subjects can become WAR ZONES.  Some partisans actually resort to using BOTS to detect changes to an article, and then automatically replacing them with their version of orthodoxy on that subject.  I don't write Wiki pages, but I've heard war stories about some sites on subjects that are near and dear to me.

5. "Such a bummer": SO SAD.

10. Spanish greeting: HOLA.  One of the things I look forward to each day is a cheerful "Hola" from our friend Lucina.

14. City on the Chisholm Trail: ENIDEnid is the ninth-largest city in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2020 census, the population was 51,308. Enid was founded during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in the Land Run of 1893, and is named after Enid, a character in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King (but then maybe not).  In 1991, the Oklahoma state legislature designated Enid the "purple martincapital of Oklahoma." Enid holds the nickname of "Queen Wheat City" and "Wheat Capital" of Oklahoma and the United States for its immense grain storage capacity, and has the third-largest grain storage capacity in the world.  Today the Chisholm Trailfollows U.S. Highway 81through present-day towns Oklahoma towns of El Reno, Duncan, Chickasha, and Enid.  Here's a map of the original trail:
1873 Map of Chisholm Trail

15. Grayish brown: TAUPE.  Here's an internet classic about the perils of managing software developers called The Man in the TAUPE Blazer.  It was my first encounter with the term "Scrum Master".

16. Norwegian royal name: OLAV.  May also be spelled OLAF, so you have to wait for perps.  Olav V (born Prince Alexander of Denmark; 2 July 1903 – 17 January 1991)was the King of Norway from 1957 until his death in 1991.
King Olav of Norway, 1957

17. "Catch you on the flip side!": TA TA FOR NOW.  or CU LATER.

19. Brick that's painful to step on: LEGO.  My Son says that stepping on a MATCHBOX CAR in the dark can be equally painful.

20. Defrost: THAWMELT. See also clue 38A.

21. Go-between: LIAISON.

23. Silky fabric: RAYONApparently not a very green fiber.  Rayon is made from regenerated cellulose, generally derived from wood pulp. Rayon is usually made from eucalyptus trees, but any plant can be used (such as bamboo, soy, cotton, etc). To produce the fiber, the plant cellulose goes through a process involving a lot of chemicals, energy and water.
25. Wears the crown: RULES.

27. Qty.: AMT.

28. Chicago's Northalsted and Manhattan's Chelsea, for two: GAYBORHOODS.  A portmanteau of GAY and NEIGHBORHOODS, e.g. Northalstedin Chicago and Chelseain Manhattan.

34. Feudal worker: SERFMedieval serfs(aka villeins) were unfree labourers who worked the land of a landowner (or tenant) in return for physical and legal protection and the right to work a separate piece of land for their own basic needs. Serfs made up 75% of the medieval population but were not slaves as only their labour could be bought, not their person.  Serfdom persisted in some areas into the the mid-19th Century.
The Harvesters
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565
36. "__ Haw": HEE.

37. Host: EMCEE.

38. Whodunit heroes: SLEUTHS.  Co-incidental to clue 20A, actor John THAW (3 January 1942 – 21 February 2002)played the imperious, mononymic Oxford detective, Inspector Morse, one of the best SLEUTHS outside the Marple Universe:

40. Examine in detail: DISSECT.

42. Inventive types?: LIARS.

43. Fellows: MEN.

44. Mario __: KART.  Mario is a pretty versatile guy.  Last week he was a painter and this week he's a go-kart racer:
Mario at the wheel
45. Leaves Thanksgiving dinner before pumpkin pie, maybe: EATS AND RUNS.  Or Eats, Shoots & Leavesby Lynn Truss (did she leave out the Oxford comma?).  A CSO to Yellowrocks.

49. Once called: NEE. Isn't it still called NEE?

50. Hilarious folks: RIOTS.  See next clue.

51. Bozo, in Canada: HOSER.  The term HOSER apparently had its origins on SCTVfeaturing such luminaries as Bob and Dave McKenzie.  I hope CanadianEh! stops by and tosses in her Toonie on this ...

53. Compendiums: DIGESTS.

57. Salmorejo, for one: SOUPSalmorejo is a cold tomato soup that is famous in the south of Spain. It's similar to gazpacho — but thicker and creamier.  Here's a recipe.

58. Social sci. major: ECON.

[Theme reveal]

64. Give a little: BEND.

65. Start of a take: ID SAY.  I thought this had something to do with making a movie, but it's really roughly equivalent to IMHO.

66. "O mio babbino __": Puccini aria: CARO. Italian Lesson #1: "Oh my dear Daddy" is the most famous aria in Giacomo Puccini's only comedy, Gianni Schicchi.  Schicchi was apparently an historical character, immortalized as one of the most notorious fraudsters of all time in Dante's Inferno (he ends up in Circle 7).  The opera's single act is a masterpiece of brevity, hilarity, mayhem, and wit. For anyone wishing to dip a toe into the wonderful art form of opera, I can't think of a better introduction.  Here's the complete 2020 production by the Pacific Opera Project with English subtitles (54 min)

And here's the divine Renée Fleming singing O mio babbino caro.   Schicchi has just sent his daughter Lauretta out on the balcony while he's busy swindling a bunch of Buoso Donati's greedy heirs out of their inheritance so that Lauretta can afford to get married:

67. Golfer's pocketful: TEES.

68. __ Nast: CONDECondé Nast is a global mass media company founded in 1909 by Condé Montrose Nast.   Its headquarters are located at One World Trade Center in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. The company's media brands attract more than 72 million consumers in print, 394 million in digital and 454 million across social platforms. These include Vogue, The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Glamour, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, Pitchfork, Wired, and Bon Appétit, among many others.

69. "Their __ Were Watching God": EYESTheir Eyes Were Watching Godis a 1937 novel by American writer Zora Neale Hurston. It is considered a classic of the Harlem Renaissance,and Hurston's best known work.  I've blogged Hurston at least two times before, but I didn't know that the novel had been made into a film starring Halle Berry:


1. Like fresh nail polish: WET.  Another CSO to Lucina.

2. Cookbook writer Garten: INA.

3. Persian snack?: KITTY TREAT.

4. State with a panhandle: IDAHOTexas fit, but didn't perp.  Oklahoma and Florida were too long.
The State of Idaho
5. Stash away: STOW.

6. Crew need: OAR.

7. Connecticut WNBA team: SUNThe Connecticut Sunare an American professional basketball team based in Uncasville, Connecticut that competes in the Eastern Conference of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). 
8. Historic Harlem theater: APOLLOThe APOLLO opened its doors in 1914 and introduced the first Amateur Night contests in 1934 and has played a major role in the emergence of jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, and soul — all quintessentially American music genres. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo stage.

9. Like grass in the morning, compared to other times of day: DEWIER.

10. Hindu festival of colors: HOLI.  Behind the scenes at the HOLI festival from Series 1Episode 3 of The Good Karma Hospital:

11. Estadio cries: OLES.

12. Italian body of water: LAGO.  Italian lesson #2 "Lake", e.g. MAR E LAGO ("Sea and Lake"), a Florida resort originally built as a winter home by heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.
Mar a Lago

13. Harper Collins romance imprint: AVONAvon Publications is one of the leading publishers of romance fiction. Originally an American paperback book and comic book publisher, in the early 1970s it began publishing romance titles reaching and maintaining spots in bestseller lists. As of 2010, Avon is an imprint of HarperCollins.  AVON is also the name of a river in England with a very famous town called STRATFORD.  But then, you already knew that.

18. Viper tooth: FANG.  Nature's hypodermic needles.

22. Clambake leftovers: ASHES.

23. Fight, colloquially: RASSLE.

24. Bedelia of kid-lit: AMELIAAmelia Bedelia is the protagonist and title character of a series of American children's books that were written by Peggy Parish from 1963 until her death in 1988, and by her nephew, Herman, beginning in 1995. They have been illustrated by Wallace Tripp, Fritz Siebel, and the two current illustrators, Lynn Sweat and Lynne AvrilSounds to me like Amelia just might have the makings of a crossword puzzle constructor.
25. Some loaves: RYES.

26. Purple yam: UBEA favorite dessert vegetable of the Philippines, UBE means tuber in TagalogHere are 17 recipes you can make with it.
Ube Root
29. Spa sigh: AHH.

30. Trans-Siberian Railway city: OMSKOmsk is the administrative center and largest city of Omsk Oblast, Russia. It is situated in southwestern Siberia, and has a population of over 1.1 million. Omsk is  the twelfth-largest city in Russia.  It is an essential transport node, serving as a train station for the Trans-Siberian Railway.

31. Juice brand with a wave in its logo: OCEAN SPRAY.  Cranberry juice.  I like Trader Joe's no sugar, organic brand.

32. Official order: DECREE.

33. Volleyball position: SETTER.   In addition to being the preferred Brit term for  a "crossword puzzle constructor", it is indeed a position in Volleyball.  One of my granddaughters is really into the game and we attended several meets last year.  It seems like a simple game, but I obviously had no idea what was really going on down on the court.  Here's the simplified explanation of what the SETTER and the other 5 positions do.
Match between Italy and Russia
35. Faux __: FURS.

39. Old autocrats: TSARS.

40. Roman god: DEUS.

41. Travel stop: INN.

43. "The A-Team" actor: MR T.

46. __ acid: NITRIC.  Nasty  stuff.

47. Peanut butter-flavored Girl Scout cookie: DO-SI-DO.
48. "Beat it!": SHOO.  "I promise this won't take much longer."

52. Cup fraction: OUNCE.

53. Financial liability: DEBT.

54. Drink similar to a Slurpee: ICEE.

55. Vanished: GONE.

56. Codas: ENDS.   This is the CODA proper (only the last minute or so) of the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony  and undoubtedly the most famous in music history ...

57. Eyelid issue: STYE.

60. "People Puzzler" channel: GSNPeople Puzzler is an American television game show hosted by Leah Remini and broadcast by Game Show Network.  It premiered on January 18, 2021. The show is inspired by the celebrity and pop-culture themed crosswords in People magazine (I think this may be where our new constructors are getting a lot of their stumpers).   The grand prize for winning the People Puzzler is $10,000.  Hmm ... the top ACPT solvers get only $5,000.  Maybe they're in the wrong game!

61. "You __ one job!": HAD.  Now a lot of people don't even have one.

62. Sonnet preposition: ERE.

63. Novelist John __ Passos: DOSJohn Roderigo Dos Passos (January 14, 1896 – September 28, 1970) was an American novelist, most notable for his U.S.A. trilogy. Born in Chicago, Dos Passos graduated from Harvard College in 1916. He traveled widely as a young man, visiting Europe and southwest Asia, where he learned about literature, art, and architecture. During World War I, he was an ambulance driver for the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps in Paris and Italy, before joining the United States Army Medical Corps as a private.
John Dos Passos


As always, thanks to Teri for proof reading and for her constructive criticism.